Lingerie Francaise @ Film Museum, London

One of the obvious downsides of my laptop breaking about 6 weeks ago was I got way behind on blogging, so this is just a little overdue. Still, here we are. This was at the Lingerie Francaise exhibition I went to at the Film Museum that's now over, but the pics are still a bit fun! A bunch of French lingerie  companies bandied together to display a history of the knicker drawer from the corset to date.

It got me thinking though, much as we go on about how women no longer must wear corsets, the basic principle of underwear hasn't changed sine the nineteenth century. Namely, to shape women's bodies to the ideals of current trends. Whether it's the straight up and down garconne figure of the Twenties through to today Spanx and the like, "shape wear" to smooth off unwanted rolls of fat, the idea is the same. The desired figure might have shifted over time, but if anything, it's simply been a question of technology meeting the new demands with lighter, finer, easier-to-wear fabrics and techniques. 

Showing examples of the garments themselves and associated advertising, it was a nice curation of fashion history, shown in the vaults of the Film Museum, a suitably dingy den to match the slightly smutty subject matter, including a video with coquettish model prancing about in the examples through the decades. Though we've ditched the whale bone, there's still a plethora of products out there, now selling such perks as comfort or playful promise, depending on the form and function of said pieces.

Want to know some London-related underwear trivia? In 1830, city authorities renamed the East End's famous Petticoat Lane to Middlesex Street to avoid the mention of ladies' undergarments in a typically Victorian moment of prudish moralising. The street was so-called because of the tradition of  French immigrant Huguenots of selling their lacy wares on the street since the seventeenth century. And in typical London fashion, people flunked the petty rules and the old name stuck.


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  2. Hey Rena, it was great to meet you on Thursday at the breakfast! Thought I'd pop over to your blog and say hi... this exhibition looked fascinating, plus I love the fact about Petticoat Lane - I must impress my London-born-and-bred dad about that one!

    Thanks for the Twitter follow, I'm now also following you on GFC and Bloglovin. If you popped over to my blog and said hi some time it'd be great to see you there :)

    Hope you've had a great weekend!

    Catherine x

  3. Hey Catherine

    Haha awesome, I hope he's impressed!! Yeah it was lovely to meet you too, and thanks for the nice message, hope to bump into you sometime soon at more London events :)

    My weekend's been super, hope you're having a super duper Monday!